Sri Lanka are right at the embryonic stage of development, says head coach Arthur

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24 Jul 2021 | 04:01 PM
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Sri Lanka are right at the embryonic stage of development, says head coach Arthur

Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur praised his team for their improvement following the win in the third ODI against India on Friday

Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur on Saturday said his team is improving fast but needs to have depth in batting as they gear up for the Twenty20 series against India. Sri Lanka lost the ODI series 1-2 to India but the win in the final ODI gave confidence to Arthur.

"We are creating depths across all the departments now. We just have to get that little bit of consistency and that same depth into our batting," Arthur said at a virtual pre-match press conference ahead of the first T20.

"For numerous reasons we never seem to put our best batting line up out there. It is being about creating depth for me, but also trying to be consistent. Giving guys clear roles but then allowing them to go out and playing with freedom. We saw a really good example of that in Charith (Asalanka) the other night," added the South African.

"The growth I have seen in these players has been fantastic and the growth comes from giving them confidence and giving them that consistency that they are going to play. We will see the rewards of that in the future for sure," the 53-year-old noted.

Arthur also said that the Sri Lankan team learned a "massive amount" from the ODI series against India. "We are right at the embryonic stage of this journey and it is about us playing against ourselves every-day we go out on the ground. We have got benchmarks, which we want to meet in every game.

"We are measuring ourselves and the progression in terms of those KPIs has been outstanding. We are getting better and better," he added. The head coach was also hopeful that young leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, who picked three wickets in the second ODI against India, would be available for the first T20.

Stressing that Sri Lanka's white-ball cricket needed some reforms, Arthur also described the win against India on Sunday as a "great win". "We were struggling, our white ball cricket was going nowhere. We were ranked eight or nine in the world and we needed some reforms and change with that.

"We needed to try and rebuild the team, we needed to look at a team we could take forward all the way to the 2023 World Cup and have a side ready at that point. And that is why we had that change, was to bring some young fresh faces in, see what they can do but also give them an opportunity to perform," he explained.

"And I think, we are getting there, we have got a long way to go. The win last night was great and we got very close the game before and that just shows continued improvement," he signed off.

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